Refugees in Jordan face escalating challenges as Syria conflict marks 10-year anniversary

  • As Jordan – and the world – looks towards the socio-economic recovery from the pandemic, the UN calls for the inclusion of refugees within these efforts.

Ten years into the Syria crisis, the UN in Jordan is calling for decisive action to save the future for Syrian refugees.

As the second largest host of refugees per capita in the world, Jordan has been an exemplary host country for Syrian refugees for the last decade, providing safety and security to those who need it the most.

Despite this, humanitarian needs remain. With increased poverty driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, there is an increased risk of setting back years of development which had enabled refugees to rebuild their lives and contribute to the Jordanian economy and communities they now call home. As Jordan – and the world – looks towards the socio-economic recovery from the pandemic, the UN calls for the inclusion of refugees within these efforts.

For children and youth, who constitute almost 50 percent of the total refugee population, immediate and long-term measures are needed to reverse the educational and psychological impact of the crisis. Ensuring the equitable continuity of learning during this time is critical, regardless of nationality. In addition, the impact of COVID-19 has been exacerbated for women and girls, including increased risks of domestic violence, food insecurity and economic pressures. Sustained access to livelihood opportunities and protection services remains essential to mitigate against these risks.

Over the last year, the inclusion of refugees in the national Jordanian COVID-19 health response and vaccination program has highlighted that if everyone is included, we can grow stronger together.  The UN commends the Government of Jordan for being one of the first countries in the world to vaccinate refugees, showing a global leadership in hosting refugees

On the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the conflict, therefore, the United Nations in Jordan, including UNHCR, UNICEF, UNRWA, UN Women, UNESCO and WFP, are calling on the Jordanian government, public and international community to continue to stand in solidarity with refugees.

Anders Pedersen, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Jordan

“Jordan has been a generous host of Syrian refugees for a decade and with the help of the international community, providing assistance to refugees in camp and host communities alike. As we look forward to continuing providing basic services, we need to find sustainable solutions to not only scale up our collective efforts, but also expand the Jordan Compact. Now is the time.”

Dominik Bartsch, UNHCR Representative in Jordan

“While a political solution that will allow the return of refugees to Syria is the ultimate goal, while they remain in Jordan, we must ensure that sufficient opportunities are available for refugees, alongside Jordanians, so that they can be productive members of society.”

Tanya Chapuisat, Representative, UNICEF Jordan

“Ten years on, the children of Syria have grown into the youth of Syria, while the next generation, born as refugees, continue to face uncertainty on the prospect of ever returning home. UNICEF continues to work with the Government of Jordan to help all vulnerable children and youth, regardless of their status or nationality, survive and thrive. Now more than ever, after the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on children’s health, wellbeing and learning, we are grateful to our supporters who continue to work with us to help prevent a lost generation”

Ms. Marta Lorenzo, Director of UNRWA Affairs, Jordan

“For decades, the government and people of Jordan have responded with solidarity to all refugees. The Syria crisis has lasted almost twice as long as the Second World War. Palestine refugees from Syria have become double refugees, first from Palestine and then from Syria. Forced into poverty, they rely on UNRWA’s cash assistance and other services to cover their basic needs. Good neighbors help when times are tough. Solidarity from the international community is more urgent than ever to help all refugees live with dignity.”

Alberto Correia Mendes, WFP Representative and Country Director in Jordan

“Food insecurity among refugees is now the highest since the families started coming from Syria 10 years ago; according to WFP assessments, a quarter of refugees across Jordan are food insecure and 65% are on the edge of food insecurity, a stark increase since the pandemic started. Families are asking their children to eat less, removing them from school, sending them to work or even to beg. We must stay the course, as families are in urgent need of support; WFP’s assistance already comprises 60% of families’ total income.”

Media Contacts
UN entities involved in this initiative
RCO
United Nations Resident Coordinator Office
UNHCR
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
UNICEF
United Nations Children’s Fund
UNRWA
United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East
WFP
World Food Programme